His relationship with us as a family has developed to include first one baby - who grew into a handsy toddler - then a new child who he has also taught to give him biscuits. He loves company and often sleeps on Brown Bear's bed. They are such great pals it's wonderful to see. When I'm home he comes to sit next to me and keeps me company. I will admit I do spoil him. He has a soft bed in most rooms in the house and I have a special fleece blanket for him to lie down on the sofa. Recently he started to drink from my glass of water so I now leave bowls of water all over the house for him. It's just the decent thing to do isn't it ?
People are asking me how old Neo is now and when I tell them they reply with remarks like, "well that's a good age,' or "Oh he's an old man now." None of these comments inspire me to want to talk to them much further. According to the vet if he was a human he would be around 75 years old. He's doing far better than any human I know of that age range. In reality - of course - he is an ageing cat and that means he is becoming an old man. He is on medication and when I take him to the vet these days they take his blood pressure and check his heart rate. If you have never seen a cat having it's blood pressure taken it is definitely worth it. I'm not sure that Neo would agree.
Of course the unspoken part of all this is that he won't always be with us. It's not a thought I want to consider so when anyone asks me, "will you get another cat when he's gone ?" I swiftly end the conversation and move onto something else. After all at this point he is like any old man, he is grumpy, short tempered, often loses his temper and likes to sleep a lot. As I type this he is lying with his head against me and is purring. I like to think this is his retirement and he's making the most of it.